Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Rob reviews "Dans Paris"

Today I watched Dans Paris (allow me to translate for you "Inside Paris") starring Romain Duris, and Monsieur Duris is the reason I checked this out from Netflix.  Duris was the titular "Heartbreaker" in that movie starring Vanessa Paradis, and during the moments I was able to take my eyes off her -- well, I couldn't take my eyes off her, but during the moments she wasn't onscreen I noticed that Duris was a pretty good actor too.  I've seen him in several other movies "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" "Moliere" "Paris" "Russian Dolls" and pretty much anything else of his I could track down.  The London Guardian says " He does have a completely transformative smile, capable of changing his face in the flick of a lip: from sexy to silly, brooding to buffoonish."  And I agree.  Romain Duris joins William Powell as the only male actors who I will watch in anything.
Here he plays Paul, a man suicidally depressed after his girlfriend breaks up with him.  Why they broke up I am not sure.  French people break up some times for reasons that don't translate well.  Suffice it to say that he was not easy to live and she was only slightly easier than him.  He seemed a little depressed before they broke up actually, as in the scene where she nudges him with the car to try to get him to get in and he lies down in front of the car.  I can certainly understand his being depressed.  Joana Preiss is not a classic beauty but she is certainly sexy as she dances unselfconsciously here.

He heads home to Dad and little brother Jonathan (Louis Garrel) intending to wallow in self-pity, and maybe work enough gumption to kill himself, but they have other plans.  They know he's in trouble cuz he lays around the house all day in his underwear listening to Kim Wilde's "Cambodia" (without a doubt the saddest 80's synth-pop song ever).  Actually the whole family is still dealing with the fallout from the suicide of only daughter (sister) Claire several years previously.  Dad fixates on everyday chores -- making soup, buying a Christmas tree. etc.  Jonathan tries to help Paul; he makes a deal with his older brother that if can make it to Le Bon Marche in 20 minutes, Paul will put on his pants and meet him there.  It ends up taking him seven hours but only because he runs into an old girlfriend (Alice Bataud) and makes two new girlfriends on the way.  Naturally he has sex with all three.  This definitely seems like the healthiest way to deal with depression.
Near the end this movie contains one of the most amazing scenes I've ever seen, as this rather dark comedy turns into a musical when Paul calls his ex and they sing to each other.  Don't roll your eyes, it works.  I would include it here but you really need to see the whole movie to see why this works.
I'll give this movie 4 out of five stars -- docked one star because Vanessa Paradis is not in it.

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